Back to school. That phrase is enough to strike fear into the hearts of parents who have just gotten the hang of the summer routine. Backpacks and new clothes! Shoes and brushed teeth! Did you brush your hair? Where’s your folder?! Is anyone ever ready for all the changes that come with back to school?
A few years back, had the opportunity to appear on Today in Nashville to share some of my favorite tips that get our family up and out the door as quickly as possible on school mornings. The info is still relevant, because back to school mornings are always a challenge!
Having the kids pick out their outfits the night before (or doing it for them) was a game changer. But my new favorite thing? Setting out THE WHOLE WEEK. Seriously. A friend gave us these hanging organizers, and I am in love. So we put together outfits from head to toe (undies and socks included). This reduces the drama revolving around getting dressed to a grab-n-go activity.
Prep the Night Before
We have backpacks (and mom bags) put together each night before we go to bed and set by the door for easy grabbing. Make it a family habit that as soon the kids hit the door folders are checked for parent info and forms that need signing. Consider it your homework assignment. We do homework immediately, but some kids need a little break. Regardless, once it’s finished, get that backpack packed and in place for the morning rush. Packing for daycare or preschool? Make sure that diapers and/or clean outfits have been restocked (and appropriately labeled). We keep our shoes by the door as well. This method lowers (though it does not eliminate) the chance that we’ll be conducting a large-scale shoe search at the last minute.
Breakfast and Lunches
Need one thing to make the morning easier? Make ahead breakfasts or easy to take with you smoothies save precious minutes each morning. (Find more make ahead breakfast ideas here.) We always pack lunches the night before and slip the lunch box into the fridge. This makes them easy to add to backpacks the next morning. Another tip? Pre-pack as many components as possible. Baggies of fruit, pudding cups, and whatever you like to add should be easily accessible for kids who pack themselves (or for you — if packing for little ones). Additionally, we save time (and reduce food waste) by putting together all the sandwiches we could make with a pack of deli meat. We slip them into a freezer-safe silicon bag (like this one), and toss them all in a drawer in our freezer. Now the big kid grabs a sandwich and sides and easily packs for himself!
Products That Help
- Hanging Clothes Rack
- Kids Cup with Cover and Silicone Straw — LOVE this cup cover!
- Dishwasher Safe Reusable Silicone Food Bags
- Stuck on You labels and school supplies (I particularly love their shoe labels — that fit perfectly into our Pedipeds!)